A sick mama

After 9 days of battling a bladder infection (and finishing a full round of antibiotics!), two nights ago I found myself in unbearable pain, even prescription narcotics weren’t touching it.  So early yesterday morning I called my mom crying and she took me in to the ER.  At 31 years old, there is still something very soothing and wonderful about your mom taking care of you.

Long story short I have a kidney infection.  Truly, I don’t think I’ve ever been so sick in my life.  Maybe mastitis after Caleb’s birth but doubtful?  Definitely this was worse than natural childbirth.  It took three different doses of IV pain meds to get my body to calm down.  Chris graciously took the day off work and cared for the kids and cleaned the house.  My mom got me medicine and brought a few groceries to get us through.  My sister brought dinner and took Audrey for the morning.

I could scarcely get from the bed to the bathroom yesterday.  Hoping for a bit better day today…my kidneys are throbbing in my back still.  So strange, having two daughters with unrelated kidney issues to have yet another kidney ‘thing’ come up.  Back to bed, just wanted to fill you in.

This picture was at the end of the day, the kids are worried, they’ve never seen their mama like this.  So I welcomed them all for a movie before I slept again.

Audrey update

For those of you wondering where things are at with our little girl, here’s the latest. We went in for a follow up visit today, at first check her labs were good and her body seems to be infection free. In a few days we’ll have the conclusive results. Also we’ll plan another visit to Children’s Hospital in a couple weeks for another test and she’ll go on a longer term medication as well. He said that the next 4-6 weeks would be most likely for a recurring infection in her kidneys so if you would pray with us for health inside her little body especially for a few weeks, we would love it.

If you missed that part of our story and want the scoop, click on the ‘hospital’ tag on the right for all the posts about Audrey’s recent kidney infection and hospital stay.

A mama update (in other words, details and feelings)


Hello friends, three cheers for wireless internet at the hospital. Thank you to my sweet hubby for letting me have his laptop here to use. I am feeling pretty disconnected from life at this point and it helps to be able to read comments and emails. As I type, Audrey is in the front pack (the Baby Bjorn) with her IV pole next to my shoulder. We are bouncing on the exercise ball, it has been one of the only things to help calm her hurting little body. If you know me well, I am a baby carrier junkie, and though normally not number 1 on my list, the design of the Bjorn makes it possible for me to wear her and keep her wrapped IV arm safely untangled. So today it is my new favorite.

How blessed am I to read comments in the previous post and know that in those four comments, prayers were being lifted up for Audrey in a town in California, on the Gold Coast of Australia, in music city-Nashville, Tennessee and up north in Bellingham too. Thank you.

Walking through the doors to come into the pediatric floor here on Wednesday brought back a heart full of emotion for me. Almost six years ago, this hospital was our home for almost 5 weeks as our firstborn baby fought for her life. Though only five weeks early, Rylee was extremely sick and spent just about all those 5 weeks in the hospital trying to get well. In a room just down the hall from where I am now I waited and stared and waited some more, six whole days to even hold my baby for the first time. Nearly everything that could have gone wrong seemed to go wrong.

So it is strangely comfortable for me to be here. There are even some nurses here that were here then. This is where we became a family of three almost six years ago and now here we are a family of six. Amazing.

The status for tonight is that up until an hour ago Audrey had consumed about 6 ounces out of the 24 she needs to get down in order to go home. I talked with a nurse and she said realistically it could be a couple more days. I keep asking if there is something else wrong, why is it taking so long for her to be able to eat and get better. The reality is, as my sister astutely observed, she is in pain. When we are in pain we keep up on pain pills and don’t feel like eating. Same for her, only it means we stay at the hospital till she feels better enough to eat.

Tonight, right after pumping milk for her, she was hungry. I wanted to cry because she tried nursing to my delight, but there was nothing left for her. I carefully grabbed the fresh bottle and tried to slip it into her mouth and she drank almost the whole thing. Now she is sleeping. So if we can just do this a few times more, we can go home.

I am missing our other kids so much my heart is hurting. It’s really hard to have to/get to stay here when I wish I could be both places. But I am so thankful for a wonderful husband who is taking very good care of our children. And for all of our friends and family who have brought food here and to our home and sat holding Audrey with me, thank you.

It is hard to watch Audrey try to scoot around with her gimpy, splinted arm. It is hard to try and calm her when there is nothing I can do. It is hard to hear my kids playing on the phone and not be there with them. It was unbearable to watch different nurses try to start her IV, then more nurses try to get blood for her labs, poking and jabbing all over her body. It is frustrating not being able to speed up her healing and get her home on my own terms.

But it is sweet being able to smell my kids hair when they came to visit today. It is peaceful sitting in this quiet room listening to the drip of fluids keeping Audrey hydrated. It is amazing to watch the kindness of others poured out in the most lovely ways. It is a blessing to know that what happens to Audrey is not up to me, that it is up to Someone much more capable than me. So goodnight, I will leave you with my prayer requests:

For Audrey to not get woken up by nurses who want to do her vitals, that they would let me get them when she is awake instead of them upsetting her. She really needs some decent sleep in order to heal.

For my weary, sore, spent self. That I could keep giving and keep making milk for Audrey despite the toll of these days on my body.

For hunger to increase and pain to decrease in Audrey’s body.

Many thanks for your prayers and encouragement. Here are some more pictures taken today while Audrey’s sweet cousin Isaac came to visit. They sure do have a connection. Audrey perked right up when she saw him and they started chatting away immediately.


An update

I just got off the phone with Karissa.  The Dr. had just come to see Audrey and made the determination that she will need to stay one more night for sure.  She is not rallying the way they would like to see, and certainly not eating enough.  They are concerned for the kidneys because the infection must have been pretty bad for how long she is taking to recover.  We won’t know to what extent the damage was until we go back to Children’s to update their records on her kidneys.  The one silver lining is that Audrey is choosing to eat from her mama instead of the bottle.  Now we just need her to get back to her normal intake level.


Night two in the books


I am home with the three big kids after having spent the night with Audrey and Karissa at Evergreen. We were hoping that during the night she would rally. We thought things were headed on the right path when they decided to cut off her already fairly minimal supply of IV fluids once the antibiotics got into her system. They did just that and for the first time in a couple of days, Audrey was wireless. She might have been wireless but she was not very hungry for a long time…too long in fact, and they took the block off the IV and hooked her back up to the pump.

After a while I was able to get her asleep and laid her down in the crib. She thankfully laid there for the balance of the night (1:30-6:30). However, here we are on day 3 and she still does not have much of an appetite. The good news this morning was when she woke up, I tried to give her a bottle, which she rejected, instead opting for a snuggle and some milk from mama. This of course encouraged Karissa deeply.

We are both at peace knowing that little Audrey is in the Lord’s hands and she will get her strength and appetite back. Until then, we drink lots of coffee. By the way…Karissa’s favorite drink is a grande, half-decaf, 2 pump, white chocolate mocha. To follow along from the beginning: 1, 2, 3.


Top Requests


For those of you wanting to pray here are the top three reqests from Audrey’s mama:

1. For Audrey’s IV to last one more night so that it can deliver the meds appropriately and that they don’t have to put in a new one.

2. Audrey’s appetite would return and she would be motivated and able to take enough fluids to nourish her little body.

3. Regarding number 2, that Audrey would start nursing again.

Thank you for your prayers.  To follow along from the beginning: 1, 2, 3.

-Chris and Karissa

The latest on Audrey

Well, it looks like a 2 night stay for Audrey at Evergreen.  The good folks there think it would be best for her to remain on the IV fluids and also get one more round of IV antibiotics over night.  Audrey is a long ways away from being able to eat enough to get the green light to go home.  She needs to get to about 24 oz. in a 24 hr. period and today she got to 10.  The tests on her urine came back faster than usual because of how bad the infection in her kidney was.  We are also waiting for the results from her blood work to rule out any spreading of infection into her blood stream.  However, the nurse said that becasause Audrey is not acting too sick, any spreading of the infection is highly unlikely.  So, it looks like Karissa and I will be spending the night with Audrey tonight.  Although we will be in the room, I am not sure how much sleep we will actually get.  The three big kids get to stay at home and sleep in their beds, so that is good.  Karissa and I are grateful for all the support and prayers we have received.  You guys are amazing!  Read this and that for all the Audrey news.


Audrey update

Hello all,

I just got back from the hospital and Audrey was looking much better (if you don’t know what is going on make sure you read here).  She is still on IV fluids and is not eating well.  The times that she does eat, she is taking a bottle.  It is good that she is getting fluids from a bottle, but her mama would prefer that she goes back to nursing.  The lactation consultant was saying that Audrey is on a “nursing strike.”  Just one more thing not to like about unions.  I think her great grandpa who was the President of National Right to Work for 35 years, might have something to say about the little strike that she is on.  

She is not her usual smiling self, but I was able to get a bit of a smile out of her while holding her today.  Karissa got some rest last night with the help of dear friends and family.  Audrey will get to come home when she is able to stay hydrated sufficiently on her own without the aid of the IV fluids.  

Thank you to all who have prayed.  We are hoping she comes home tonight but it is likely that she will stay one more night.  Please continue to pray that her body would fight off the Kidney Infection with the aid of the antibiotics and that she would begin to nurse again.  Also pray for continued rest for Karissa.


Unexpected visit to Evergreen

That’s what happens when your little 6 month old baby gets a kidney infection and decides not to eat for over 8 hours.  The infection, most likely due to the fact that she was born with some reflux in her kidneys, is now being treated with IV antibiotics.  After 30 minutes (3 different nurses and five attempts) of trying to get the IV started they took a break and called in the resident expert.  During the break Karissa called as many people as she could in that brief amount of time to pray for a successful next attempt.  God answered the prayers of those who prayed and the 6th time was the charm.  The last I heard Audrey was doing better and was even taking a bottle, which she has never done before.  Karissa is weary, not only with everything that happened today, but also because the night before Audrey was up all night (now we know why) and only got a few hours sleep while I took a few shifts.  Thanks for any prayers for our little one and her mama.  This was not how we would have chosen to celebrate her half birthday today, but we know she is in the Lord’s hands.